Fact-Checking: ‘Hamas is Israel’s Frankenstein’

As you traverse social and mainstream media to understand the current Israel-Gaza war, you won’t be able to hop far on one foot before you stumble or fall over or get in the hit in the face by a barrage of conspiracy theories, myths, and urban legends that have become ‘accepted fact’. (In the Middle East, this can be read as ‘I heard it and it then must be true because it’s anti-Israel and anti-America’)

The only defense available, in the midst of the proverbial faecal shower, is to grab the myth or ‘accepted fact’ in your hand and crumble it, piece by piece.

I stumbled upon this piece by Hassane Zerouky the other day. It attempts to assert and prove that Hamas was created and fashioned by the Israeli regime, and then let to grow in size under its bemused eyes… while the regime twirls its mustache.

Origin of Piece and Authorship

There is no information online about the author. The piece is quoted across a myriad of message boards, conspiracy theory blogs, and alternative news websites. However, the identity of the author cannot be ascertained from either Google web or image results. I contacted L’Humanité to confirm the identity of Hassane Zerouky. [add response from them]

The first clue comes from one article on the alternative website War is Crime that references the piece:

The article below originally appeared in the French daily L’Humanité on December 14, 2001, translated to English by Global Outlook in 2002, and published by Global Research in March 2004. It shows how the so-called Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was founded by Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Mossad) with the strategic purpose to prevent the creation of a Palestinian State.

On L’Humanité‘s website, the only information about the author is a cryptic single sentence: “International News” with no further hyperlinks or explanatory paragraph. The link to the original French article points to the wrong piece; the real essay in question is found here.

I ran Google Translate over the article because my French is as impeccable as my Sanskrit. This is the opening paragraph from the original French:

For many Palestinians, people without territory, subject to repression, humiliation and repeated closures, the radicalism of the fundamentalist Hamas embodies the ultimate recourse against the occupation. How was created and developed the organization that took the late train “resistance” to Israel? It does not say enough, it is Israel that has basically created Hamas, “thinking ensures Zeev Sternell, historian, professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, it was smart to play the Islamists against the PLO. “

Compare this with the opening paragraph in the alleged English translation:

Thanks to the Mossad, Israel’s “Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks”, the Hamas was allowed to reinforce its presence in the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Arafat’s Fatah Movement for National Liberation as well as the Palestinian Left were subjected to the most brutal form of repression and intimidation

Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”.

I searched through the original French article for the phrase ‘Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks’. It’s not there. A cursory glance shows that the English leans more towards a paraphrase of the original French, with some editorialized embellishments thrown in for good measure. I contacted Global Research for comment. [add their response]

Questions around the Publisher

The editor’s note above on the War is Crime article mentions that Global Outlook translated the article from the French original, and then Global Research published it on its website. It’s curious that the two links in the editor’s note point to the same translated piece. A search online didn’t bring up any results for Global Outlook.

Global Research (Centre for Research on Globalisation) does not list its editorial or production teams on the about page, but does outline its submission requirements. They stipulate that references and sources be made available and linked to citations. For a controversial piece like Hamas is a Creation of Mossad, there are no footnotes or sources in both the English and French articles.

Let’s Go Through It… One by One

I will be using the English translation, referring to the original French in the event of a substantial discrepancy between the two versions.

Let us not forget that it was Israel, which in fact created Hamas. According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)”.

This is a very bold assertion. I contacted Dr. Zeev Sternell to confirm this and he replied with the following:

The quotation as far as I can remember is correct but totally out of context. I have said that various Israeli governments had preferred to play the religious elements against the nationalist, believing that religion was much less dangerous than nationalism. Must people did not understand so many years ago neither the nature of radical islam nor that of radical judaism. That does not mean that the Mossad has created Hamas, which is idiotic.